[Story] Fairsong Academy – Braedra’s Journal

Outland was lovely, but it’s nice to be back home in my comfortable room and familiar bed. It’s not to say the places weren’t nice — they were lovely, even the ethereal inn, though it was a little unusual. But I think I was ready to come back and see everyone again. The girls managed just fine on their own, they ate at the school and kept everything neat and tidy at the house — or if not, they cleaned it up before we got back at least. I asked the lady who lives in the girls’ building to check in on them now and then. Summer classes are out, so there aren’t as many babies in the nursery, but there are still a few. The most exciting news we missed is that Anorelle is going to have one of her own. She’s younger than me, but still a bit old to be having her first. I hope everything goes well for them, although it does make me wonder if Isturon will bring up the subject. We have so many between us, I think it’s a bit late for any more, but I don’t want to assume anything either.

That’s the other thing, I suppose he waited until we were back home to tell me about some things so I wouldn’t be stuck there and make everything awkward. He told me he’d been seeing another woman while he was still married to Verisna. Things weren’t working out, so I thought he must just be after something fun, but he said he wanted a relationship. If that’s the case, why was he staying married? He says it’s because of the children, but they’re old enough to understand if he would have been happier away from their mother. It would be a different matter if they were very young, but they aren’t. Am I being too judgmental? I don’t know. I told him he should have left properly first, and he didn’t argue with me on that. It’s just that he was just so… unapologetic about all of it, as if he was totally justified. I’m sure it was uncomfortable for him, but he was the one who chose to stay. And if he’s willing to look elsewhere once, would he do it again? I know he’d say it was because Verisna didn’t care, but she might have a different opinion. Not that I’m going to ask her about it, Ter has already warned me to stay away from her. In a way I could talk to her though, just to get her perspective. I certainly can’t ask Nessna or Lani, it would be awkward to talk about their father in that way, and if they don’t already know, I don’t want to be the one to tell them. I don’t know what Anorelle has been through, maybe she would have some perspective. But I don’t know her very well, and I’m sure she’s busy with her new husband and preparing for the baby.

I know we should have a more serious discussion about it if things are going to go much further, but I feel like I already know what he’ll say. I couldn’t have imagined him doing that, but he didn’t even deny it, so now I’m re-examining everything he’s said and done while I’ve known him for clues. I guess it’s something I should bring up with the Confessor, though he’ll probably just tell me I need to speak to Isturon about it. He’s right, of course, but it’s not going to be a pleasant conversation for anyone.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Sorelle’s Diary

Dear Diary,

I think summer is the nicest month. It’s warm outside, even at night, and all of the garden is in bloom. I can smell the flowers if I walk close to them, and Terellion’s vegetable garden is growing well too. Malwen helps him water the plants and pick vegetables to take inside for Tik to cook with, there’s even a little patch of lettuce for Malwen’s turtle to eat. I haven’t grown vegetables before, but I can’t imagine that it’s much different from flowers. I wonder if I could help with it next year. In the greenhouse, all of the plants are going wild with all of the warmth and sun! Hethurin’s manaberry bushes have already flowered and will have some berries soon. I don’t think there will be too many, but they are still young. I think next year they will probably have a full crop. But it’s enough to sprinkle them on top of a cake, or with a bowl of cream or something. Xarola’s herbs are doing really well too, and I thought about clearing off a little shelf for Malwen. She’d probably like being able to grow things when it gets cold outside, too.

Salenicus brought me a present, it’s a really big about plants. It’s really old, but the paintings are beautiful and take up the whole page. I have been just sitting and looking at all of them, then I get distracted reading about plants I’ve never seen. It includes plants from Kalimdor and Northrend, it doesn’t have Outland or Pandaria plants because of how old it is. I showed it to Xarola and she said it was really valuable, her mother has one like it but it’s more worn. So I have to be really careful not to damage it! I didn’t expect him to get me a present at all, that was nice of him. He can only come a couple of times a week because they have other routes to patrol as well. There’s only one night patrol since Orledin is on the daytime patrol now. It sounded like Salenicus misses him a little, because he said they used to talk.  I think it would be awfully boring having nothing to do except walk every night, and not even being allowed to talk. Well, the draenei doesn’t know much common or Thalassian, so he can’t. Most nights I don’t think much happens, sometimes they might see a demon or some scourge on the Scar. Salenicus said they found some traps down there, he thought it might be someone trying to capture one. I don’t know why anyone would do that? I’m hoping it’s just someone trying to catch an animal for food, but he’s right that they shouldn’t leave them around where someone might step into them. We don’t go down that way usually anyway, but I’m going to tell the Headmaster just in case.

We also walked along the beach, that’s another good thing about summer. I guess you could go there in the winter too, but it’s more beautiful in the summer. The moonlight reflects on the water and there are little things that glow, I think they must be tiny animals or maybe jellyfish? I don’t know. We held hands and he wanted to kiss some, that was nice too. It’s nice late at night because there’s no one else around to look at us or say it’s gross because we’re not alive. I told Xarola about it and she said that the beach is a very good place to take walks. Sunset is probably even more beautiful, but I’m worried there might be other people there. I would like to be able to find some shells though, at night it’s too dark to see them very well. Maybe I’ll go very early in the morning, right when the sun comes up, and try to find some. I’m not sure if Salenicus would like shells or not, but I’d like some for my shelf, I think they would look pretty.

I know it’s early but I’m already thinking about the masked ball. I need to decide what kind of mask I want, and then what kind of dress would go with it. I wish there was somewhere else we could dance before that, because it’s a long time away.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Seline’s Diary

Dear Diary,

Classes have ended for the year. I know I did okay in frost, because I find it easier than the others and Professor Raleth is always willing to help me out after class if I don’t understand something. He always says that I can ask Keyalenn too, but I think it’s weirder to ask someone closer to my age. It’s not weird to ask a teacher, they’re used to helping people. And I just trust Professor Raleth, I guess. He doesn’t think my questions are dumb or laugh at me. I think I did okay on my arcane theory exam, but that’s only because I studied like crazy for weeks. Headmaster Fairsong also is nice and sometimes still marks things right if it was mostly right, or if it was wrong but you had a good reason for putting it. That’s nice of him, but I know the people at the Spire doing the exam won’t, so I’d rather learn it the right way. It seems like no matter how much I study, it’s still confusing. I don’t know how I did at fire at all, probably terrible. You would think it’s the easiest, because it’s just doing things to a flame that’s already there, but I just can’t get it to go right. Fire is easy for everyone else, why can’t I do it? I’m going to get some books from the library and use one of the warded practice rooms so I can hopefully get better over the summer. I don’t want to forget everything I’ve already learned.

There was a boy in the sitting room and he wanted to help me with my lessons. He’s in one of the advanced classes, and he said he also leaves for private lessons a few times a week. I’ve seen him leaving out the front gate, but I didn’t know that’s what he was doing. If he gets private lessons, he’s probably really good at fire, and also really rich. I thought it was odd that he offered to help me, he said it was because it would help him understand better. But if he’s in advanced fire class, I know he doesn’t need help at basic flame manipulation. I wonder if maybe one of the other students asked him to play a joke on me or something. I don’t know who, but I can’t think of why else he’d want to waste his time on baby fire lessons. At one point I mentioned that I sometimes do my homework with the guy with glasses, and then he started acting really weird. Fire boy kept saying how he could beat him in a fist fight even though glasses boy has big muscles. I’ve honestly never noticed, I thought it was weird that he didn’t have sleeves but I thought it was just because it’s been hot outside. Fire boy said it’s to show off his muscles. What? Even if he did have big muscles, Fire boy is better at magic, so he could easily beat him that way. That’s assuming they’d even fight in the first place, what an odd thing to say. Did they have some kind of argument or something? I’ve never seen glasses boy upset with anyone, he just keeps to himself most of the time. It was all really weird, and a little scary. I wonder if I should warn him that Fire boy wants to fight him.

Fire boy also kept saying I should go to his floor to meet him, which sounds against the rules to me. He said it’s okay because there are girls on that floor too, but I think I’d rather just study out in the common room. There’s no chance of getting in trouble out there, plus Tik and Terellion put out snacks to eat sometimes. Maybe he wants to trick me up there so he can fight me? I don’t understand why he wants to fight so much. He’s at the wrong school if he wants to learn how to fight, they probably do that at the ranger lodge.

Anyway, I need to choose my classes soon for next year. We go in to talk to our speciality teacher and fill out the form based on what they think would be good for us. I don’t think I am quite ready for advanced frost magic yet, but I’m going to see if there’s anything I can do to get ahead in frost. I might as well have good grades in one class next year! I know the undead girl likes to sew, too. The Headmaster said she might teach a class about making dresses, I think that sounds like fun. I’d like to do that if she decides to make one.


[Story] Character of the Week – Irael Summerwind

[[ Irael is a young elf from Murder Row who got a scholarship to attend Fairsong Academy. ]]

“You should at least think about it, Irael.”

Irael gave her mother a sharp look. “This again?” Most evenings, Irael and her mother ate their supper together in the common room. It was simpler to eat what Tik and Terellion had made — and their food was delicious. Irael didn’t see the point in using valuable study time to cook or clean up dishes. And normally it gave her a chance to talk to her mother, but in the last few weeks, the constant pestering had grown annoying. She’d become fixated on the idea of Irael finding some nice mage boy from a rich family to marry, and she was convinced that her daughter would be well taken care of. It was a nice idea, but not realistic at all, and Irael thought her mother ought to know better. After all, she’d spent her whole life on the Row too, and things like that just didn’t happen for people like them.

Now Felarius had got onto it to, and Irael half suspected that her mother had conspired with him to coax her into the idea. She didn’t know him well, but she knew that he was the other scholarship student from the Row. Usually they talked about just normal school things — how they’d done on their exams, whether they were going to take any summer courses or not. Felarius had his extra lessons, and he wanted to take summer classes on top of that. Irael thought the enchanting class sounded interesting, and perhaps the botany class as well — that one shouldn’t be too challenging. It was good to allow yourself some easy classes now and then so she didn’t get too burned out. She worried that Felarius might be trying to do too much too quickly, though she could understand his desire. They wouldn’t be here at all if it weren’t for the Headmaster’s generosity, and they wanted to use it to their best advantage.

But then Felarius asked if she liked anyone. It was an odd question, and she was’t sure why he was asking. No, she was here to study and learn, not to look at boys — the same thing she always told her mother when she asked. But he kept insisting that perhaps she just didn’t know yet, or maybe a new student would come that she couldn’t resist. The way he said it, Irael would have no control over her emotions or her actions, and she’d just be helpless to resist this mystery fellow. Irael knew that was nonsense. She’d never had it happen before. Felarius said that wasn’t proof of anything, but he was a guy. Even if some handsome and clever (and rich) mage student did appear, he wouldn’t want anything to do with her. Irael had seen plenty like that when she was trying to make it on the Row. Nice rich boys from good families didn’t want girls like her, at least not when it came to looking for wives. Felarius said she could just not tell them, but that was worse. It would mean she was ashamed of her past, which she wasn’t. Why should she be? There were no other options if you were hungry and poor. Besides, if she tried to hide it and it was found out later, then he’d be upset that she’d lied about it. It was better to be up front, that is, if the situation ever came up.

More than that, it seemed like cheating. Irael had got into a mage school on her own. Granted, she’d had help from the headmaster and Magister Firewind, but she’d beat out all the other applicants except for Felarius. She hadn’t just batted her eyelashes and looked pretty, she’d read books and practiced all on her own. She did all her lessons and practiced every day to keep her grades up and prove that she belonged here with the other students. Irael didn’t want to take the easy way out, she knew she could do it on her own — and she had. No rich mage student was going to take her own success away from her.

[Story] Fairsong Academy – Braedra’s Journal

Dear Elthanni and Telaena,

The domes are even more amazing than I imagined! They’re far bigger, for one thing — you can see them from very far away as we rode over on dragonhawks. The dragonhawks here are beautiful, I had one that was blue and purple, and Isturon’s was almost black, with shiny green metallic feathers. He said that they breed them in different colors, like hawkstriders, but I wonder if they’re just different colors because of where they are from. Anyway, the domes are enormous, so large that you can fit a whole town inside of them, and there are several, at least five and perhaps more. They are pink, and I believe they are powered by a combination of magic and some kind of mechanical device. I think this device may help amplify the magic, or keeps it running so that a person (or ethereal) doesn’t have to maintain it as long.

Most of the people here are ethereals, I really don’t know how to explain them! They have no body as we do, rather they are made up of energy and magic. Some of them wear clothes in an effort to fit in better, but many just wrap strips of cloth around them however they please. They speak in a very unusual humming tone, and it can be a little unsettling at first, but they seem very eager to have visitors to their town. The inn is located in the biggest dome, and from our balcony we can look out and see animals grazing below. There are large deer-like creatures, and Isturon said that’s the sort of animal I ate at the restaurant. I feel a little guilty now, knowing how handsome an animal it is! The domes are important because the rest of the land is scorched by the magical explosion that tore it apart, there are no plants or water anywhere else. It made me wonder if we couldn’t build something similar along the Scar, to help encourage things to grow there as well. Most of the danger seems to be passed now, so perhaps it’s only a matter of time before it recovers. I think the damage to the land here was much more severe.

It might be a good security measure for the school, as well. Hethurin’s mother hasn’t been by again, has she? Isturon said that she might. If she does, I want you and Ter to leave her alone and not bother her. I don’t want any trouble with her. The trip is wonderful, but I do miss talking to you and Ter, and seeing the babies every day. I think it won’t be too much longer before we come back. You both did such a good job in the play! I hope you were able to get all of the paint off. I don’t know how I’d explain having two trolls for daughters.

Oh, I forgot to mention the food here. It’s very unusual! We’re going to bring some of it back with us so you’re able to try them. Ethereals don’t eat as we do, they feed off magical energy, so I think they have some odd ideas about what we eat. The menu has different sorts of “nutrition cubes”, they come in different colors which I assume are different flavors. I couldn’t even tell you what flavor mine was, but it was colored blue. Isturon’s was yellow, he said it wasn’t bad. Mine wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure I liked it as much as eating a nice meal. Then there are smaller ones, I’m not sure if those are meant to be dessert or something else, we didn’t think they tasted as good. I’ll let you decide whether you like them or not! The “refreshment crystals” were interesting too. I don’t know how they made liquid into a crystal, but they did. I think they were made with manaberry, it tasted a bit like them.

Aeramin was here too, with his husband. They said they were on vacation, though it didn’t seem a place that many people came for pleasure. Then again, we were, so maybe they had the same idea! I took your advice and brought up the subject with Isturon, at least I tried to. Maybe I’m the one who is missing things. I think the evening went well though, and he wants to go to the jazz club in Silvermoon when we get back. I’ve never been to one, but it should be fun, and if nothing else, we can dance and eat some non-cube-shaped food.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Letter from Braedra

Dear Elthanni and Telaena,

Today we’re at the outpost in Shadowmoon Valley. You should see it! I hope that you’ll be able to come soon, it’s so strange and exciting. The sky is covered with heavy green clouds, and sometimes you will see green lightning jump between them. It’s dark and eerie, and you can never forget you’re on another world. But it’s beautiful in its own way, too. The inn where we’re staying isn’t very fancy, I only saw one other outpost on the way there, and that was was built by orcs. I’m rather glad we aren’t staying at that one! So far we have the whole inn to ourselves, which is nice because we got our choice of rooms. We chose the top of the tower, there’s a large balcony so you can walk out and look over the fields of crystals. Yes, crystals! They grow all over the ground, the clusters are everywhere and some of them are taller than an elf. There are no plants of any kind there, so the animals that live there must feed on them. I imagine it’s very hard to eat crystals, but Isturon said the flayers have sharp claws that scrape bits of the crystal off at a time. With binoculars I was able to see some of them, the innkeeper said it was too dangerous to go out among them. They certainly look scary! They are about the same size as an elf, though much more thin and frail. They have very long claws attached to two hooklike hands, and they are very dark which makes them difficult to see against the cracked ground. I suppose that is for camouflage, for the dragons feed on them.

Yes, there are dragons here! Though they’re unlike any dragons that I’ve seen in books. Granted, I haven’t seen any in person so I can’t compare, but the dragons in books all look more or less the same. These have very angular heads with short snouts, and the most intriguing thing is that they are translucent all over — not just their skin, otherwise their bones and insides would show, but the whole of them. I don’t know if it’s due to the magic from the crystals, or something else. They’re certainly not ghosts, because I’ve seen them hunting and feeding on flayers, and ghosts don’t do that. Isturon said he believed some of them might have a nest, but I’ve been unable to find any with the binoculars. Of course, they’d probably build their nest somewhere safe and hidden from view. When we stop back in Shattrath, I’m going to see if I can find some books about these sort of dragons, Isturon said they are called “nether dragons”. I wish you could see them! They’re so ethereal and beautiful. They seem to have no interest in us or the inn at all, so it’s certainly safe to watch them.

The only worry I had was about infernals. I know there are demons in some other parts of the area, and the inn has areas of the roof that had clearly been patched. Isturon assured me that the building was meant to withstand them, but he was so nervous and shaken after I brought it up that I regretted it! He very narrowly missed being killed by one when he was on the islands, so I can understand his caution. Of course, I don’t want anything to happen to either of us. I suggested that we could stay in the same room because it would be safer in case one should fall. I assure you that nothing improper happened! We sat on the long couch and watched the dragons outside of the window. I must have fallen asleep there, because I woke later and he’d covered me with a blanket. I’m not sure if he slept or not, I feel a little guilty if I was the reason he couldn’t.

We will be heading out to the domes in Netherstorm next. As I understand, they are sort of greenhouses maintained by magical barriers in which they grow plants and animals. It sounds very exciting! Isturon thinks there may be some researchers there, I hope that’s the case. It would be so interesting to speak to them about their work here and what they’ve discovered. There’s so much that we don’t know about this place still. Maybe one day you’ll want to study here too? I could come and visit you. Just make sure your roof is infernal proof.


[Story] Fairsong Academy – Braedra’s Letter

Dear Elthanni and Telaena,

I promised Terellion that I would write and make sure everything is all right here, so please be sure to tell him that you received my letter. You don’t have to let him read it though, if you don’t want to. I know he’s still a little strange about everything, and I don’t want to make him upset.

This is such an unusual and interesting place! I hope that Hethurin will allow you to go along on the next trip. I know it’s usually only the magic students who go, but I don’t see why you couldn’t enjoy it too. I’m going to insist on going along too, so you can always stay with me if he says no. Much of the city has these very strange dome-like buildings, they don’t have any bricks or seams that I can see, it’s almost as if they were put up in one piece. The place we’re staying now was settled by elves, so it looks almost like a little replica of Silvermoon, though it’s much less crowded, and the plants look different. The city itself is surrounded by these very tall trees, Isturon says there are all sorts of animals out there so I don’t expect we’ll be going out there. I do sometimes sit and watch from the balcony to see if I’m able to see any though. So far I saw a moth that was as large as a dragonhawk! It was really something else, I thought at first that I’d dreamt it. The food here is unusual too, but so far everything I’ve tried has been good. I think I could easily get used to staying here, if we didn’t already have the house of course. But perhaps we could get one for trips? Isturon mentioned that Aeramin has a house here, many of them seem to be empty so I don’t think it would cost too much to get one.

We came into Silvermoon last night for the orchestra, because we had our tickets. There are so many mages here, that it didn’t take us long to find someone to make us a portal. I felt a little underdressed in my plain robe, everyone else — including Isturon — looked so fancy and extravagant! I suppose we’ll have to go shopping for robes soon, won’t we? The orchestra was so wonderful. Our seats were close enough that we could watch all of the musicians playing. Many of the songs they played were traditional Eversong melodies, songs that I remember hearing and singing when I was younger. Of course they sounded so much more elegant and impressive when played by a full orchestra, but it was still lovely to hear. I’d love to go again, but I’m not sure if Isturon liked it very much. He said it was “pretty good”, which is usually something people say when they expected something to be bad. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it. What do you think he meant?

Tomorrow we’re going to visit the dragons! I really hope we’ll be able to see one. He said that they can be seen from the inn, we’re going to try to get a room on the highest floor. It’s too dangerous to go out of the grounds, not because of the dragons, but other things called flayers. I’d think it might be dangerous because of dragons too, even a friendly dragon might mistake an elf for food from far away.

I still can’t tell how things are going. He’s polite, but he doesn’t really like to talk about anything personal, either about himself or me. And he wanted to invite Ter to come visit. Of course I don’t mind seeing him, but isn’t it strange to invite him to a romantic trip? Maybe it’s just a friend trip. I can’t really be sure. Oh, I bought some things for you in the market, I hope you’ll like them. There are so many interesting things to see there! We’ll have to go when Hethurin brings the students.